It’s against Twitter’s Terms of Service to impersonate someone. Yet, impersonation accounts flourish on the platform. Fake lottery winner accounts are a stark example of how well impersonation accounts flourish on Twitter. Not only do these accounts impersonate lottery winners, they also use the same modus operandi. They are, effectively, Twitter scam accounts.
My sympathies to the real lottery winners and to anyone scammed into giving private information to these accounts.
Twitter Scam Accounts, Example 1
Michael Weirsky of New Jersey won $273 million dollars in the Mega Millions Lottery in March 2019. It took very little time for loads of Michael Weirsky impersonation accounts to hit Twitter. Here’s a tiny sample.
Additionally, the bot-troll program didn’t mind using the opportunity to throw in an extra Trump supporter.
Twitter Scam Accounts, Example 2
After winning $758 million in the Powerball Lottery, Mavis Wancyzk became a fast target for impersonators. In 2017, Wancyzk’s hometown police department warned the public that scammers were impersonating her. And, yet, two years later, impersonators are still able to create and run scam accounts in her name. Again, just a small sample.
Not one of these accounts is the woman in question. It’s impossible to think that it is that difficult for Twitter to proactively find and suspend these accounts?
And the Examples Continue
Michael and Mavis are not alone. Pick the name of any lottery winner and you are bound to find impersonation accounts (sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands) in their names.
Julie Leach, 2015
Charles Jackson, Jr., 2019
Richard Wahl, 2018
Oh, and that pro-Trump account from above? It’s not alone. The bot-troll program has tentacles far and wide.
Twitter’s Lack of Accountability
Of course, there are plenty more where these came from. The bottomless pit of fake Twitter accounts is truly bottomless. It’s hard to fathom, but fake accounts are being created daily. The bad actors span the globe, so it’s not just a few accounts.
We are talking, conservatively, many thousands of fake accounts created every single day for many years. Just jump on a large account (Trump’s, for example) and look at the followers. Refresh the screen once per minute. Watch the fake accounts roll in. It’s not rocket science. There’s no excuse for Twitter not to have a handle on such obvious fake accounts by now.
One, Final Point
The accounts shown above are scam accounts. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s easy to see that these are impersonator accounts when they are pre-compiled and organized. But not so much when they are scattered among millions of other accounts. Please be aware and don’t be fooled by Twitter scam accounts.
Written by Virginia Murr
Read More about Fake Twitter Accounts:
Why Political Bots are Effective but Commercial Bots are Not
From Russia with Love: 20 Million Russian Twitter Bots Exposed
States are Cracking Down on Companies that Sell Fake Social Media Accounts
Yellow Vest Twitter Bots Pushing for Violent Revolt in America